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Posted In: Birding

Eagle cam on the James River

@richmondoutside
January 16, 2012 3:00pm

Rex Springston has a front-page story in today’s Times-Dispatch about a new camera set up to watch a bald eagle nest on the James River. The camera was paid for and erected by William and Mary’s Center for Conservation Biology, with the goal, according to the center’s director Bryan Watts of, trying “to get the general public more in touch with the natural environment that we’re living in.”

Bald eagle pairs are now beginning to prepare their nests for the late-winter breeding period and it should be a lot of fun, hopefully, to watch chicks emerge in the spring. According to Springston’s piece, this nest has produced viable offspring every year since 2001. The owner of the land where these eagles are nesting didn’t want its location publicized, but I’ve heard about a nest in a pine tree in the Windsor Farms neighborhood. My guess is that’s this one.

On Cooper’s Island, just west of the Nickel Bridge, a bald eagle pair has set up a nest in a pine tree. For the past two years, the couple has laid eggs, only to be driven off by other eagles in the area before the eggs could hatch. Eagles, like many raptors, are territorial, and this pair will likely have a fight on its hands again this year to produce chicks.

There’s a lady who sets up a spotting scope on Riverside Drive in Westover Hills to watch the pair go about its business. She was there about a week ago, and I stopped my bike ride to talk to her. She said she had already seen the male bringing sticks to repair the nest that day. There was no sign yet of the female. As activity increases in the nest area this spring, I’ll give regular reports on the progress with as many pictures as I can take. It’s pretty amazing that we have these majestic creatures throughout downtown. Check back often for updates.

(Above photo credit: Joby Joseph.)


About Andy Thompson

I was the Outdoors Columnist at the Times-Dispatch from 2007 to 2013, writing twice a week about mountain biking, fishing, hunting, paddling and much more. I live a 1/4 mile from the James River, close enough to see bald eagles soaring over my house on their way to find a meal. Pretty cool, eh?


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